Strategic Priorities for Insurance Companies: Overcoming Challenges and Driving Growth

Feb 13, 2023

The insurance industry is facing a rapidly changing landscape, driven by advancements in technology and shifting customer expectations. In order to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive, insurance companies must take bold moves and embrace change. The role of the internal strategy team is to help guide the company through this transition and ensure its success. With a focus on value creation and growth, customer centricity, downcycle management, data analytics and AI, CFO excellence, productivity, complexity reduction, agile ways of working, and systems migration, the strategy team has a wide range of responsibilities to help the insurance company thrive in today’s market.

In this article, we will delve into each of these eight areas and explore the importance of each in shaping the future of the insurance industry. We will also discuss the specific ways in which the strategy team can help the insurance company navigate these changes and achieve success. From identifying the best strategic partnerships and technology investments, to redesigning the customer journey, to adopting agile methods and modernizing legacy systems, the strategy team plays a critical role in driving growth and innovation in the insurance industry.

The insurance industry is constantly evolving, and the internal strategy team plays a crucial role in guiding the company towards success. The team should be focused on several key areas to help the company grow and thrive.

First and foremost, the strategy team should help the insurance company identify opportunities for growth through strategic partnerships, technology investments, and M&A deals. This can be achieved by conducting thorough research, analyzing market trends, and collaborating with other departments. By making bold moves in the industry, the company can attract investors and spark growth.

Additionally, the strategy team should help the company design a customer-centric approach. This means putting the needs of the customer first, and improving response times, quality, and personalization. By doing so, the company can improve customer satisfaction and build a positive reputation in the industry.

Navigating downcycles is another key area where the strategy team can make a difference. In difficult times, a proactive mindset can lead to success, and the team should help the company take advantage of downturns and fuel long-term transformations. By adopting a forward-thinking approach, the company can come out of challenging times even stronger.

Data analytics and AI are becoming increasingly important in the insurance industry, and the strategy team should help the company leverage these tools to transform decision making. By using data science and AI, the company can make more informed decisions, improve operations, and stay ahead of the competition.

The role of the insurance company’s CFOs is also crucial, as they must balance business intelligence and financial control. The strategy team should work with the CFOs to help them achieve the highest standards of performance and efficiency. By doing so, the company can maximize its financial resources and achieve long-term success.

Productivity is another important area, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for digital responses in key areas such as distribution, customer service, operations, organization, and claims handling. The strategy team should help the company identify and make productivity improvements to stay ahead in a rapidly changing landscape.

Complexity reduction is another key area, as insurance companies often have multiple offerings and business lines. The strategy team should help reduce complexity to drive digital transformation and improve the customer experience. By streamlining processes and eliminating redundancies, the company can focus on delivering high-quality products and services.

Adopting agile ways of working can help teams move faster and with greater autonomy, and the strategy team should help the company adopt these methods at scale. By embracing agile, the company can quickly respond to changing market conditions and stay ahead of the competition.

The insurance industry is a highly competitive and rapidly changing landscape, and having an effective strategy team in place is crucial for success. By prioritizing value creation and growth, focusing on customer centricity, navigating downcycles, embracing data analytics and AI, enhancing CFO performance, improving productivity, simplifying complexity, adopting agile methods, and modernizing systems, the insurance company can stay ahead of the curve and meet the evolving needs of its customers. The strategy team plays a critical role in helping the company identify opportunities for growth, navigate challenges, and drive transformation through the use of technology and innovative practices. Ultimately, a well-functioning strategy team can help the insurance company achieve its long-term goals and remain competitive in a fast-paced and ever-changing industry. By investing in their strategy team and embracing a proactive approach, insurance companies can position themselves for future success and growth.

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David McInnis

President & Founding Partner

David has two decades of global recruitment experience and is Founding Partner of Willard Powell. Prior to founding Willard Powell, David worked with Leathwaite International, a global executive search firm. Before his employment with Leathwaite, David worked for Wachovia Securities (now Wells Fargo Securities) supporting the firm’s Investment Banking & Capital Markets Technology group. David is a graduate of Lasell College in Newton, MA, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a concentration in Management Information Systems. David also serves as a Trustee on Lasell’s Board.